AEW star Anthony Bowens says the outpouring of support he’s received following his viral “I’m gay” moment at Rampage last week has been incredible … telling TMZ Sports he hopes it serves as inspiration for those who fear being themselves.
Bowens — who came out in 2017 — had fans going wild after making a joke about his sexuality in the ring in a response to Harley Cameron … after she claimed she could tell the Acclaimed tag-team member was into her.
“Very, very serious question,” Bowens responded to the Australian commentator. “Did you get kicked too many times in the head by a kangaroo when you were a kid?? Because I don’t know if you can see my gear, lady … I’m gay!!”
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The whole crowd erupted in encouragement … chanting “He’s gay!!”
We spoke with Bowens about how special it was to be his true self inside the ring and get that sort of response from the fans … and he said the whole experience was surreal.
“I wish I could go back and tell 17, 18, 19-year-old Anthony Bowens that everything would be okay, because I spent a lot of time, a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety of what my career would be if I ever came out,” Bowens tells us.
“And to fast forward and to have that moment and to have that reaction I did — I’ve been getting messages every single day from people all over the world, from other athletes thanking me just for simply saying it.”
“People, a lot of times, either just insinuate it or maybe make it a joke — I was like, screw it!! You just gotta say it sometimes.”
Even though the exchange was silly, it is a major step in the right direction for the LGBTQ+ community … and Bowens understands the gravity of the situation.
“I think it struck a chord with a lot of people and I couldn’t be any more thrilled.”
Bowens sends a special message to his young fans who look up to him … and he hopes to continue to pave a path for the next generation.